Pew Charitable Trusts explained why the government needs to enforce the ONC interoperability rule to help slow down the spread of COVID-19.
However, the corrective action plan noted that in signing the settlement with OCR, Banner Health is not admitting liability.
n general, actors can no longer engage in practices that interfere with the access, exchange, or use of electronic health information unless the practices are required by applicable law(s) or if an actor meets an exception established by the HHS Secretary. My companion blog post To share or not to share, whats an exception (to information blocking)? unpacks the exceptions we established in the Cures Act Final Rule to address privacy, security, and a host of other issues.
This final rule, in turn, flows from CMSs MyHealthEData initiative, which focused on giving patients easy and direct access to their medical data. The agency has attempted to not only make patient health data more accessible, but has also worked to educate patients on the value of engaging with that data.All well and good. However, while this stepwise approach to expanding health data interoperability seems relatively sound, particularly given that patients were given a seat at the data buffet table, one shouldnt forget that there are still some serious interoperability issues remaining unresolved.
The law was enacted when the internet was in its infancy and healthcare was still paper-based.
Moscovitch pointed at the information blocking regulations that are a part of the 21st Century Cures Act to help this issue. If certain demographic information is not reported, fines of up to $1 million could occur.The Biden administration could use this authority to require that health care providers include complete demographic data, such as contact information, when ordering tests from labs, Moscovitch recommended. Thats critical because labs cannot share complete data with public health authorities if they have not received it in the first place.
Even so, studies have found that many patients dont access their records. Thats a mistake because they serve as a blueprint for treatment and may contain vital, and sometimes ignored, nuggets that can lead to the correct diagnosis or treatment.
Declining trust in health care stems partly from inherent contradictions at the heart of the US medical system. There are no easy solutions and progress will require difficult choices and sustained effort. But it starts with recognizing that despite technological, economic, and political changes, trust in health care fundamentally begins where it always has: with healing relationships between patients and physicians.